Carly Dickson

Primary Teacher

Tollbrae Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

What Happens in the Classroom When Traffic Lights are Used as a Self-Assessment Tool?


Formative assessment is a concept that involves obtaining evidence about pupil learning, providing feedback, and closing the gap between the learner’s current and desired state (Heritage, 2007). A range of research highlights how formative assessment practices can result in better-quality achievement and diminishes the success gap between pupils (Yan, Chi & Cheng, 2015). For instance Hattie’s (2009) explored “visible learning”, which was valued as one of the greatest approaches, having a noticeable effect on students learning. Visible learning allows teachers to see learning through the eyes of their pupils and helps children reflect upon their own learning and take responsibility in identifying their next steps. Kenowski (1995) draws our attention to how crucial active involvement of pupils in the formative assessment process is to their learning, as this motivates pupils to progress in their learning. I decided to focus my practitioner enquiry on self-assessment in the form of traffic lights to inspire the children in my class to become more active in their learning, which will hopefully promote further engagement and allow pupils to view their progress.


The aim of this enquiry was to investigate the impact of using the traffic lighting system as a form of self-assessment when introduced into a classroom during maths lessons.

Self-assessment strategies explored were:

  • The use of a blank traffic light teacher stamp
  • The use of self-assessment fans
Download Practitioner Enquiry